You are currently browsing the archives for April, 2011.

Another great example of politics swaying science

Sometimes it is easier to prove a point from other examples. Political pressure often causes governments to hedge their statements about topics that should be strictly scientific. A long article, but the conclusion is well worth the read.

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The Urban Heat Island in Realtime!!!

Earlier this week I was commenting on the very cool spring that Boise has been experiencing. Living in Boise I happen to know how built up the area has become over the past 20 years. That it is in a valley as well only makes the potential Urban Heat Island effect even greater. I have often wondered how much of the warming that Boise experiencing is due to the change in the area. Since I had done the analysis for Boise already, I decided to compare it to a region that was close area that was not an urban or agricultural area.

McCall is even a little town, but having been there plenty of times I know that it isn’t very built up, at least not yet. It is a higher altitude that Boise so the temperatures are lower, but this is where anomaly is once again useful. The locations are near enough that major storm systems will effect both places in a similar manner, but a difference in the anomaly could be an indication of the UHI.

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Waiting for Warm Weather

This Spring has not been warm in Idaho. There have been a couple of warm days, but it certainly feels like it is never going to warm up. The warmest temperature so far this year was April 1st (joke on us for sure) of 21.1 °C. The average high temperature since then has been 13 °C. That is only slightly warmer than the average temperature for this time of year of 10.3 °C, but well below that average high temperature of 18.2 °C for the same period of time. So on average for the month of April the high temperature has been more than 5 °C below average. That is why I say I am waiting for warm weather.

I didn’t know all of the details when I decided to put this article together, I only knew that it felt like it have been colder than it should have been and the data certainly is supporting that feeling. Here is 2011 so far for Boise, Idaho.

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Studying Climate Change on Pluto?

I love science articles about space. Unfortunately this one decided to bring climate change into the discussion. A proper parsing of the article would indicate that what they are actually discussing is the behavior of the seasons on Pluto which last several decades. Since Pluto is outbound on its elliptical orbit now it will be entering into a colder season for a while. Some people might even call that Autumn.

Of course the cause of seasons on Pluto will be dominated by the differences in Perihelion (4.4 billion km) and Aphelion (7.4 billion km) instead of the tilt and geographic distribution like on the Earth.


More Odd Behavior from the GHCN Temperature Data

As usual the satellite data for the month of March was quickly available at the beginning of the April. This timing difference is one reason why I am doing more of my updates from the satellite data, but I am still watching the station data. Maybe this is why it really caught my attention the way it did when both the CRU and GHCN anomaly jumped in the month of March. This is in contrast to both the UAH and RSS measurements detecting a drop in global temperature anomaly.

So I decided to dig into this a little more to see why the different methods diverged so strongly. Since so many of the warmists focus solely on the station data it is important to understand what is happening to it. I am convinced that the problems inherent in the station method make it the least reliable source of monitoring the climate, but since so many do use it, it is useful to understand where it is detecting the warming.

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Nuclear Update from The Economist

This is a nice summary of the actual impact from the Fukushima nuclear accident. Despite all the hand-wringing, it appears that there will be very little environmental and human life impact from the nuclear plants themselves.
In the end it will be the tsunami that caused the greatest environmental impact.

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More Modelling Problems in Antarctica

Right after my previous article that discussed the historical problems in Antarctica, I found another article about Antarctica in National Geographic that uses modelling to answer the “mystery” of the Antarctic sea ice increase over the past 30 years. The reason it is a mystery is because that increase in sea ice coverage is contrary to the theory of global warming.

This paper got plenty of attention when it was released last August and many, many problems have been pointed out by others, but most of the discussion has focused on the inappropriate definition of warming that has taken place in the Southern Ocean. The main problem that was brought up last summer was there is very little accurate data prior to 1978 (pre satellite data problem once again, as usual). The paper is specific in its discussion of warming from 1950-1999. The main prior discussion was about the lack of valid data for the pre-1978 period. It is easy to make a warming trend when half the period has no useful data.


The Failure of GCM’s in the Evolution of Antarctica

Antarctica. It has an average temperature of -50 °C. There is enough ice locked up there to to increase the global sea levels by more than 70m. It has been that way for longer than mankind has existed. Antarctica has not always been such an inhospitable place though. In the time of the dinosaurs it was a temperature place. There were no glaciers, it was probably a pretty nice place to live.

When Antarctica started to freeze over 34 million years ago, the average temperature of the Earth was about 7 °C warmer than it is now. The freezing of Antarctica triggered one of the greatest climate change events ever recorded and the Earth has never been the same since that event. It also triggered the greatest extinction since the dinosaurs.


Global Temperature Update: March 2011

I have been working on a new format to show what the global temperatures are doing. I think I have one that will show what is happening to the global temperature in a more effective manner. The biggest problem is that the station methods are just slow. They don’t update until the end of the month and even then their results keep shifting for up to a year. It makes them not very useful for monthly updates.

The two satellite methods are much more real time and they have the additional advantage of showing the temperatures for different regions of the Earth. Plus the evidence is mounting that the station method has some issues to be worked out. So the monthly updates will be the RSS and UAH average anomaly as shown in the new format.

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Finding the Cause of the Station Method Problem

In the past month I have shown some detailed response of the Earth’s temperature to global events. Examples of this are the ENSO and volcanic eruptions. By comparing the temperature anomaly between the satellite and the station methods for these events, it has become clear that the station method is becoming less sensitive to these events over time.

The main problem with the station behavior is that over the past 20 years the measured global temperature has started to diverge more from the satellite method. This leaves everyone with different choices as to what data they use to look for global warming and the results are substantially different. It is clear why the satellite method is more responsive at detecting global temperature change, but that doesn’t explain why the station method is becoming less effective over time.


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